THE SERIES:This is the first ever meeting between the Amarillo Bulls and the Texas Tornado. These two teams will see each other a total of eight times. The South Division rivals meet in a home and home series in the second week of October, and then won’t see each other again until late November.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING:It’s the beginning of a new era of hockey in the Texas Panhandle today as the North American Hockey League makes its official debut in Amarillo. This is the earliest face off ever (Friday, Sept. 24) for an Amarillo hockey team. Amarillo is used to facing off home openers in October. It is also the debut of the fourth different nickname for an Amarillo based team.
SHOWCASE SUCCESS: The Amarillo Bulls posted a 3-1 record at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. That record puts the Bulls into a tie for second place in the south division with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. Amarillo beat the Michigan Warriors 4-3 for the first ever franchise win. After a 4-3 loss to the Fresno Monsters, the Bulls then posted a 4-1 win over the Port Huron Fighting Falcons and a 5-3 triumph over the St. Louis Bandits.
STATS AND SUCH:The Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats are tied for the South Division lead with 17 goals each. Amarillo is the fourth most penalized team in the NAHL while the Texas Tornado ranks near the bottom. When the game is tied after 40 minutes of play the Amarillo Bulls are unbeaten at 2-0-0, The Texas Tornado are 2-0-1 when they have outshot an opponent.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: The Texas Tornado are four time North American Hockey League Champions (2001,2004, 2005, 2006) and seven division titles. Texas has enjoyed seven straight 40 plus win seasons. The Tornado, are based out of the Dallas suburb of Frisco and play home games at the Dr. Pepper Arena.
The Tornado posted a 2-1-1 record at the North American Hockey League Showcase last week in Blaine, Minnesota. Texas dropped a 5-4 OT decision to Motor City in the first game but followed that up with a 5-3 win over Kenai River. In their third game the Tornado were beaten 5-2 by the Coulee Region Chill. Texas concluded the Showcase by defeating the Austin Bruins 6-4.
A BIG WEEKEND:The Amarillo Bulls get right to it this weekend with three games in a row. The Bulls travel to Wichita Falls to face the Wildcats tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm. The weekend concludes on Sunday when Amarillo hosts the Corpus Christi Ice Rays at 6 pm.
It is also a big weekend for the Texas Tornado as they head back to Frisco for their home opener on Saturday night against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The two teams will close out the weekend on Sunday with a second game.